Focal Clear Open-back Headphones - Official Thread

Try this:

Preamp: -4.9 dB
Filter 1: ON LS Fc 105 Hz Gain 5.5 dB Q 0.71
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 90 Hz Gain -4.9 dB Q 0.30
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 1330 Hz Gain -6.0 dB Q 1.00
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 2200 Hz Gain 1.4 dB Q 2.5
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 3000 Hz Gain -2.6 dB Q 3.00
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 3700 Hz Gain -2.1 dB Q 5.00
Filter 7: ON PK Fc 4300 Hz Gain 2.0 dB Q 4.00
Filter 8: ON PK Fc 5950 Hz Gain -4.1 dB Q 10.00
Filter 9: ON PK Fc 6600 Hz Gain 2.0 dB Q 7.00
Filter 10: ON PK Fc 7500 Hz Gain 1.0 dB Q 3.00

Copy and paste that into Focal Clear.txt then SoundSource → Headphone EQ → Add Other Profile… and open Focal Clear.txt.

Interesting! I’m not sure how to load this into Headphone EQ but I recreated all of these bands on FabFilter Pro-Q 3 and it sounds v different compared to the Innerfidelity preset. On Pro-Q you can set the “gain scale” - so 50% gain scale halves all of the dB amounts. It sounds much closer to the Innerfidelity preset when the gain scale is at 30%…

Click on the Headphone EQ drop-down select box like you would if you were changing the current EQ profile. At the top is an option Add Other Profile… Clicking that will open a File Open dialog where you can open the .txt file and it will create an EQ profile that is the same name as the .txt file.

But if you don’t like it in FabFilter then you probably shouldn’t bother. :sunglasses:

Hi all, wondered if anyone could throw some light on an aspect of the different characteristics of headphones that’s been bugging me… I did a comparison test between the Audeze LCD-X and Focal Clear and recalled the vocals being far more forward on one set than the other. That surprised me as I thought the relative positioning would be governed by how a particular recording was mixed, rather than the characteristics of a specific headphone. In the end, I decided on the Clears, the LCD-X sounding relatively muffled to me. Appreciate that all headphones will have different dynamic responses in relation to the Harman curve. What I don’t get is how aside from soundstage (which I understand can be influences by the angle of the drivers), headphones can have different relative positioning of vocals/ instruments in a given recording. Would welcome any thoughts and views on this.

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hi Chap704!

we perceive things as closer to us when they’re louder. different headphones emphasize different frequencies. if an instrument’s fundamental frequency or some combination of its harmonics are emphasized by a particular headphone’s frequency response, it’s probably going to sound louder / closer.

a lot of people on this forum apply EQ to their headphones - especially headphones by Audeze which allegedly really need the EQ to sound normal.

I’m a huge fan of the Focal Clear with and without EQ.

welcome to the forum!


Focal Clear vs Orphean Sound Darkvoice (stock tubes)

I’ve been testing out the Clear with a Darkvoice tube amplifier. I usually prefer the cleaner, more precise presentation of the 789 but the Darkvoice is a nice touch on some records

the Darkvoice does a wild thing to the Clear’s soundstage. it’s like the imaging is a little drunk. maybe a lot drunk. instrument placement is less precise and more spread out.

tonally, the Darkvoice sounds like it elevates the Clear’s low end in a way that I don’t love. I much prefer the neutral tonality of the 789 on most material.

does anyone have any tube recommendations?

shout out to everyone else with disgusting old Focal Clear pads


Thanks. Eventually realised that the answer was probably as simple as that - mid frequencies for a particular headphone making vocals apparently closer. Thanks for confirming……

Recently bought Naim Unity Atom (headphone addition) for use with the Clears, which I’m delighted with. Seems to me ( as you’ve experienced with your amp) to add significantly more soundstage. Previously, I’d been using a Dragonfly Cobalt DAC/amp. I’ve no idea how it achieves that, but a definite improvement anyway.